10 Decorating Rules That Were Made to Be Broken

by Aileen Allen | 0 comments

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed or paralyzed when it comes to decorating, chances are that you’re trying to follow the rules. There is no quicker way to turn something that should be fun into a terrifying chore.

Seriously, you guys, it’s time to throw those stupid rules out the window! You are decorating your home, which means it should be an expression of you. If you love the color pink, who cares if someone else says it’s too girly? If you love a certain pattern, who cares if some “expert” says it’s not trendy? Do what YOU love, and your home will feel just like that–home. After all, you’re the one who is going to be living there, not some fancy interior designer you’ve never met. And if you’re not yet convinced, here are 10 examples of decorating rules that are begging to be broken.

1. Dining chairs should be a matching set.

Conventional “wisdom” would have you think that all your dining chairs need to match each other (and match your table). Not so, my friends! In fact, dining rooms with a variety of different chairs have so much more personality. And the best part is, you can collect lots of chairs that you love instead of committing to just one. Letting go of this “rule” will save you money, too. If there’s a designer chair you really want, but you can’t afford a whole set…just get one. You can mix it in with chairs from cheaper stores, Craigslist, etc. If you get sick of a chair, you can sell it or move it to another room, and you only need to get one chair to replace it–instead of having to start all over with another full set ($$$).


Source: Honestly WTF

2. Kid’s art belongs on the fridge.

If you thought that your kid’s art could only go on your fridge (or in a popsicle-stick frame), you’re missing out. Your budding Picasso is a great source for budget-friendly, meaningful art. Frame it with the same consideration as anything else, and your kid’s masterpiece will look right at home alongside “real art.” Think about how fun that will be for your kid to see–and you might even get people asking where you got that great piece of abstract art!


Source: Minted

3. Don’t paint the ceiling.

I had always heard that painting the ceiling will bring a room down and make it seem smaller. Too bad, by following this “rule” I was totally missing out on a fun opportunity to play with pattern and color in a fresh and interesting way. Michelangelo had it right…paint that ceiling!


Source: Design*Sponge

4. All-white rooms are cold and boring.

This is so not true–an all-white palette can totally be beautiful, interesting, inviting, and homey. The key is to mix in lots of different textures, shapes, and materials so there is still variety. If you love white, don’t be afraid to go for it!


Source: At Home in Love

5. Your nightstands should match.

Nope–and while we’re at it, nightstands don’t even have to be tables. Bar carts, chairs, file cabinets, steamer trunks, empty barrels…all fair game, if you ask me.


Source: Centsational Girl

6. Art should be hung on the wall.

Not necessarily–art can look super cool when casually propped against the wall. So if you like how it looks on the floor, leave it.


7. The TV should be hidden.

Let’s be honest, you probably spent a lot of money on that TV and you probably use it more than most of the other items in the room. Yet, people still feel like they need to hide their TV or pretend like it isn’t a part of their lives. It’s silly not to decorate in a way that works for your lifestyle…and rearranging furniture every time you want to watch a show is definitely not practical. Incorporate your TV into your decor and own it.


Source: At Home in Love

8. Don’t mix patterns.

Gah! This rule is the worst of them all. Mixing patterns is my jam and I won’t let anyone take that joy from me. Bows, stripes, polka dots, floral, plaid, arrows…gimme. If you’re worried about it looking like a hot mess, you can stick to similar colors and mix large-scale patterns with smaller ones (like wide stripes with a small floral print). But honestly, I say just go for it and let your taste be the “theme” that ties it all together.


Source: At Home in Love

9. Every window needs a window treatment.

If drapes or blinds aren’t needed for privacy reasons, don’t feel like you still “have to” cover the windows. Let all that light in, and save yourself a chunk of change while you’re at it.


Source: sfgirlbybay

10. All your woods and metallics need to match.

I used to work at Pottery Barn, and I can’t tell you how many people would come in and say, “I love this coffee table, but all of our furniture is dark wood so I have to get something that’s also dark wood”…or “Our side tables are brass, so if I get a metal lamp, it’s going to have to be brass as well.” Let go of this, and free yourself to buy whatever you love. Different woods and different metals can totally mix and still look chic and intentional.


Source: The Glitter Guide

Basically, the theme of this post (and this week) is: there are no rules. The only “rule” is, do what feels right to you.

Find more decorating ideas in our “At Home” board on Pinterest.